Summer Community of Scholars

Who's melding diverse disciplines?


When I first came to Clark I intended to study premed, and become a neurologist. However, as soon as I took my first biology class, the freshman seminar, I fell in love with genetics. And then when I took microbiology, I loved that too. And anatomy. And developmental biology. Everything I’ve taken has broadened my interests. Now I always advise everyone to take as broad a spectrum of courses as they can. If you look hard enough you can see the interconnection of all the sciences and humanities. That is what captivates me and what is really fun for me about learning. Now I am a biology and psychology major, and enjoy the fact that many people I know still think I’m an English, government, or philosophy major. As for neurology…maybe later!

I first got to work on biology research last summer, when I did an internship at UMass Medical School with Dr. Marc Freeman’s lab. I worked on identifying genes and proteins required for glial invasiveness and engulfment in Drosophila. It was a fantastic opportunity, and I had a great time, especially with the fancy confocal imaging microscopes. It really is incredible the resources and facilities that are at our disposal, either here at Clark or elsewhere in the Consortium. After my internship, I joined Dr. Justin Thackeray's lab and started the work I am currently involved in. I am looking at a mutation of the small wing gene in Drosophila, trying to explain the effects of the disruption of the gene at the cellular level, using a tag to track the expression of the mutated gene, and inducing patches of the mutation in an otherwise normal organism. I plan on continuing this work throughout the next year, my fifth year, when with any luck, I can earn the Master’s degree. (Editors note, Fouad does not need luck, he is a star; Editor = S. Foster, Chair of Biology)>

Outside the Lab

I have a seemingly completely separate interest in psychology, my other major. Although I am very interested in the intersection of the two fields, at the level of the neurosciences, my research there currently focuses on the psychology of political participation, polarization, and conflict. I have done field research in Lebanon under the supervision of Dr. Joseph de Rivera, and am working on another research study for my honors thesis on leadership roles in intergroup attitudes and conflict resolution. I have also worked briefly with Dr. Lene Arnett Jensen on moral psychology research. I was an undergrad TA for Intro to Psych, and teach Arabic to the willing in my spare time. Teaching, it seems to me, can be just as good as learning. As for extracurricular activities, I was the Student Council representative on the University's Undergraduate Academic Board, secretary of the Muslim Cultural Society, vice president of the Undergraduate Psychology Committee, and vice president of the Dead Poets' Society. I am also involved with Clark PeaceWorks and Amnesty International. My interests include music, particularly blues and jazz, literature, travel, languages, politics, soccer, table tennis, and basketball.


Presidential Scholarship, 2005-2009

Simon and Eve Colin Award for Undergraduate Creativity in Psychology, 2008-2009

Margaret M. Comer Award, Summer 2008

Phi Beta Kappa, Spring 2008

Psi Chi, Spring 2009